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Blue Ant makes Choice channels move

Michael_MacMillanCanada-based content company Blue Ant Media has acquired a majority stake in Choice TV, the Kiwi pay digital channel.

The lifestyle and entertainment channel is carried on the digital terrestrial Freeview platform and DTH service Sky in New Zealand, meaning it reaches all of the country’s TV homes.

Julia Baylis, who has been with the channel since its launch in 2012, will continue to run Choice as general manager. “The Blue Ant Media investment provides strategic growth for Choice TV, positioning it for continued success in the rapidly changing media environment,” she said. “We look forward to enhancing our programming line-up with quality content that inform, entertain and engage our audiences.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Blue Ant said it has taken a majority stake in the privately-held channel.

“This partnership marks our first international broadcast investment and Choice TV programming aligns very well with our content focus,” said Michael MacMillan, CEO, Blue Ant Media (pictured). “As a growing international media company we see this venture as a great opportunity to further diversify our asset base with a like-minded independent media company.”

Blue Ant produces and distributes span lifestyle, travel, music, nature programming and operates Canadian specialty channels including music service Aux and doc offering Smithsonian Channel Canada and Oasis.

The Choice deal marks its first international move for a linear channel although it did recently buy into Omnia Media, which operates YouTube nets from its LA base.